Profile: The devoted carer with a secret double life

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The Independent Online

To his neighbours in Brockley, south-east London, Delroy Grant was a devoted carer to his disabled wife, Jennifer. Fit and strong, he regularly worked out using a punchbag that hung from a tree in his garden.

But for 17 years, Grant lived a double life as the man who would become known as the Night Stalker, prowling the streets of south-east London burgling, sexually assaulting and in some cases raping dozens of elderly victims.

Born in Jamaica in 1957, Grant moved to London as a 16-year-old in 1972 and lived with his father. He married Janet Watson in 1975 aged 19 – the same year he received his first criminal conviction for theft. They had two children before they separated. During the trial, Ms Watson accused Grant of attacking her while she was pregnant. After a violent assault in 1977, Grant walked out on Janet and his young family.

He later married Jennifer, for whom he became full-time carer after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and paralysed from the neck down. But they too separated, although he carried on with his role as her carer. At the time of his arrest Grant was in a relationship with Barbara Stocks, a bank clerk.

Police have struggled to piece together parts of his life because he refuses to tell them anything. They believe that he has at least eight children by four different partners. He also has four step-children. One officer described him as a "charmer" and "something of a ladies' man".

Neighbours agreed. On the day of his arrest one resident told reporters: "He took care of his wife and we respected him for that."

But Grant did have a criminal background. From 1975 to 1991 he was convicted 10 times for 27 offences including criminal damage, fraud and attempting to rob a post office. He variously worked as a carpenter and an odd-job man before becoming a mini-cab driver. But still there is no suggestion as to what motivated him to spend 17 years burgling and sexually assaulting the homes of pensioners.

The best the police have is a suggestion from a profiler who characterised Grant as a gerontophile, someone who seeks sexual gratification from the elderly.

This, the profiler suggested, would have stemmed from a sexual encounter Grant had with an elderly person when he was younger.